Dorothy P. Seawell, widow of former Capitol Police Chief William Seawell, spoke with Col. Anthony S. Pike, the current chief, at the opening of the new exhibit commemorating the 400th anniversary of the police force.

An exhibit celebrating the 400-year history of the Virginia Division of Capitol Police opened at the Capitol on Aug. 27.

Curated by the Library of Virginia and displayed in the large hall just behind the gift shop inside the Virginia Capitol’s entrance at 10th and Bank streets, the exhibit is to remain until the opening of the 2019 General Assembly session in January.

The exhibit incorporates research undertaken in recent years by academic interns from Virginia Commonwealth University’s History Department, who helped the Capitol Police detail history dating to its formation in 1618 at the first permanent English settlement in Jamestown.

Features from the exhibit include custom uniforms from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries as well as three authentic uniforms from the 19th and 20th centuries, two of which were the actual uniforms of Capt. William A. Seawell, the Capitol Police chief from 1961-70, and Col. Anthony S. Pike, the current chief.

Exhibit Photo Gallery:

Seawell’s uniform was part of an extensive collection of his papers and other memorabilia that was loaned to the division by his widow, Dorothy P. Seawell, who attended the exhibit’s opening.

Seventh in a series of collectible ornaments, the 2018 Official Capitol Square Ornament celebrates The 400th Anniversary of the Capitol Police, a beloved institution on Capitol Square.
Seventh in a series of collectible ornaments, the 2018 Official Capitol Square Ornament celebrates The 400th Anniversary of the Capitol Police, a beloved institution on Capitol Square.

Capitol Police also were able to partner with the Virginia Capitol Foundation and Capitol Square Preservation Council to create a holiday ornament that represents the agency’s 400th anniversary. The ornament is on display alongside a collection of division badges and patches.

More Anniversary Resources:

Download the full press release for the opening of the exhibit.

Read weekly vignettes about the history of Virginia Capitol Police on their website blog.

Learn more about the importance of Virginia Capitol Police with an interactive timeline on their website.